The Sleepwalkers
trying hard to redeem himself, Gunther proudly delivered the last known address of missing American Gina Mancuso, which he’d uncovered in the 1931 Housing Registry.
    “And,” he added, the enormous Adam’s apple jumping around his giraffelike throat, “she had a roommate, Paula Hoffmeyer—still lives there.”
    Willi read the address. One of the poorest districts in Berlin-North.
    “Excellent. I’ll go myself, at the first opportune moment.” He slipped it in his notebook. “Gunther, tell me something . . . have you ever been to Hell?”
    “Excuse me, sir?”
    “Hell. The club. Have you ever been there?”
    “No.” The lad’s long face broke into a corny grin. “But I sure as heck’d like to.”
    “Buy yourself a dinner jacket. We’re going tonight. In the meantime, dig up whatever you can on this Dr. Hermann Meckel.”
    The Nazi medical center at Spittlemarkt was more like a small hospital than a clinic, with X-ray equipment, operating rooms, and large wards filled with storm troopers who’d been busted up in street brawls with the Reds. Willi had served in the military long enough to recognize the stripes on the uniform sleeve of the man someone pointed out as Meckel. The good doctor was an SA general.
    The
Sturmabteilung,
Storm Division, was not a real military of course. It was only one of several private paramilitary armies the Weimar Republic had allowed to thrive in the name of tolerance, despite that it was committed to that republic’s destruction. In Berlin, the Communist Red Front had been every bit as powerful as the SA. But since the trauma of the Great Depression, under the charismatic leadership of Ernst Roehm, the SA’s expansion had been explosive. Its membership recently eclipsed the half million mark—five times the size of the German army—with their characteristic knee-high boots, wide brown breeches with matching tunics, tall-peaked caps, and bloodred swastika armbands. The original function of the SA had been to guard Nazi political meetings. The Führer however soon discovered the expedience of using it to break the skulls of his opponents, mainly though by no means exclusively Communists. Eventually, under Roehm, the SA developed an extensive social-services system: soup kitchens, skills-training programs, free medical clinics. Not a town or city in Germany today lacked a Brownshirt division.
    “Doktor Meckel.” Willi held up his ID.
    The physician was middle-aged with not much hair, but had a ruddy physique and the strong, nimble hands of a pianist. He examined Willi’s Kripo badge, and for an instant his sharp blue eyes tightened. Then they all but exploded with charming light.
    “Why Inspektor Kraus, what an honor! Of course I’m familiar with you. Who in Berlin isn’t? The way you used psychological insight to stalk the Child Eater—positively exemplary. How may I be of service to you today? Sit down. Have some coffee.”
    “That’s all right. I’m here in reference to a recent patient at your office.” Willi pulled out the photograph of the princess.
    The doctor looked it over as if with the fondest memories.
    “Ah, yes. Marilyn something, wasn’t it?”
    “Magdelena.”
    “Yes, yes, of course. Came to me with a sprained ankle. Made a big fuss about it as some women will, you know. I bandaged her up and gave her some codeine tablets. Told her to try to keep off the ankle as much as possible.”
    Codeine? Willi wondered. Might that have caused the wide-eyed state Rudy took for sleepwalking?
    “How strong were these tablets, Doctor?”
    “Five milligrams. For placebo effect mainly. Why? Did something happen? You’re with the Homicide Commission. She isn’t—?”
    “We hope not, Doctor. But the princess has gone missing.”
    “Princess!” He looked genuinely shocked.
    Willi’s sixth sense was doing somersaults. Meckel was lying through his teeth.
    “Yes. Daughter of the king of Bulgaria. Her father is most anxious to have her returned. So is

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